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Cubs Fill Post-All-Star Rotation With Tsuyoshi Wada

Been wondering who would be the fifth man in the Cubs' rotation? Wonder no more, Cubs fan.

Joe Robbins

Last week, the Cubs announced Kyle Hendricks would take one of the rotation slots vacated by the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Sunday, they announced the other post-break starter:

Tsuyoshi Wada has made one start for the Cubs, in one of the split doubleheader games against the Reds July 8. He threw reasonably well, giving up five hits, a walk and an unearned run in five innings, with three strikeouts. That was enough for management to give him another shot.

Nothing's been announced past the Padres series, and it's certainly possible that Dallas Beeler or the just-acquired Dan Straily could get starts as the season progresses, to see how they might fit in to a future Cubs rotation. Given rumors that the Yankees have some interest in Edwin Jackson (oh, please, please take him!), another rotation spot might open up in the next week or so.

What hasn't been stated is who's going to be sent back to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Hendricks and Wada. For the time being, the Cubs have had three starters and nine relievers, for a 12-man pitching staff, which is the big-league norm. I don't want to see them go back to a 13-man staff (five starters, eight relievers). Thus, I'd like to see two of the relievers go back to Iowa, not a reliever and a position player. Zac Rosscup and Justin Grimm would seem to be on the bubble. I'd also like to see Arismendy Alcantara stick around. The Cubs also need to make room for Emilio Bonifacio soon, as he should soon be ready from his rehab assignment.

Junior Lake or Mike Olt could go to Iowa to make room for Bonifacio so that Alcantara could stay for the rest of the year.

We'll find out soon, but it's now official that Wada will start Wednesday against the Padres, with Hendricks Tuesday and Jackson (if he's not traded by then!) Thursday.